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Book Cover: Barside Companion Ed McMahon's Barside Companion
World Publishing, 1969

Hi. I'm Ed McMahon. I see we're cleaning olives off toothpicks by the same dim light. Come here often? Like it? I can't think of a better place to pass the time a man spends waiting to meet his wife. You met Bill? A great bartender. I've known him for years. He used to say his customers were here for one of two reasons: either they didn't have a wife to go home to--or they did....
...there's another problem I have learned to solve: you might call it what to do while the ice melts. Over the years I've collected some simple games you can play in a bar--or for that matter, any place people gather for a little easygoing conviviality. Want me to tell you about them? It'll help us pass an hour or two. And, if you pay attention to your Uncle Ed, you can learn a lot.

--from the Introduction

I imagine the now-reformed alcoholic whose face graces the cover of this paperback would rather no one remind the world of this dandy publication. But what has Ed McMahon done for me lately? This book almost seems like a joke in itself, but the ultra-sincerity of the narrator (I pray it was ghost-written) qualifies it as high camp.

In this book "Uncle Ed" teaches us that "a couple slugs of Scotch" will improve your driving skills, and sweet young things will be impressed by a balding lothario's ham-handed bar tricks.

I don't know whether to avert my eyes or just give the man the hug that he so obviously needs.